Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sci-Fi Thriller Pick: Nobody

by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
400 pages

Available January 22, 2013

Read the prologue

Read Chapter One

Clever and creepy, Nobody is a sci-fi action thriller that is sure to satisfy fans of the genre.

Trained assassin Nix has never known his family or his past. He has been raised and trained (brainwashed) by the Society, a shadowy organization of an elite few who have power over even the President. The Society keeps the Normals safe from the Nulls. Normals are "normal" people who can feel pain and happiness, love and loss. Nulls are void of any feelings at all, and surprisingly (or not) many of them hold government office. The Society takes care of Nix and molds him into a killing machine who has no emotion; Nix is Nobody.

Nobodies are rare; in fact, Nix believes he is the only one. He is on his twelfth kill when he realizes his target can see him. This isn't supposed to happen; Normals and Nulls can't see Nix once he goes into the fade. The Society studies energy and Nix has a special gift that can make him invisible and stealthy. When he tries to take the kill-shot, the girl looks directly at him. He's shocked and wants to know why.

Claire sees the boy with the gun and realizes he was going to kill her, yet she wants to see him again (okay, this part is kind of cheesy, but bear with me). Nix captures Claire yet keeps her alive. They have a heated discussion and realize that Claire is not a Null after all; she's not a normal either. Claire is an untrained Nobody and the Society wants her dead.

The two agree to break into the Society's headquarters and Nix steals the folders of all his targets. Together they hope to find out a pattern in the killings. Why these targets? What do they have in common?

Nix and Claire realize that the Society is playing politics at the highest level. Not only that, there is a secret serum they have developed to make Normals act like Nulls, and the Society can shape their power by using it. They have been experimenting on children, developing new Nobodies. Claire and Nix have to save the children, destroy the serum, and wipe out the Society and still get away with it. Will they be able to destroy malevolent Ione and escape?

I was drawn to Claire's personality at the beginning of the novel but after she met Nix she seems to lose some of what I liked about her. She seems to be his carbon copy. After they meet, I feel more compassion for Nix than for Claire. I wish Claire had been a tougher girl; even though she grew up feeling invisible, she had a strong personality at the beginning.

Recommended grade 9-up. Lots of sleeping together and melding as one...but no details. No language. Violence. Assassinations.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


  1. This book would be very popular with my students who enjoy sci fi!!

    Southern High School Media Center
    Wymore, Nebraska

  2. I have students who love adventure like this. Would love to be able to read it!

    Joleen Waltman
    1010 S. 2500 W.
    Aberdeen, ID 83210

  3. Interesting blend of sci-fi and political thriller.
    Pasadena, TX 77503

  4. Thanks for another good review!

    Norma O'Keefe
    Limestone Community School
    Limestone, Maine

  5. Love getting your reviews, I love the concept of the book. My students will like that, but not sure if I'd buy it if I don't win.
    Crystal River High School

  6. Love all the reviews, I end up purchasing a lot of them. C'mon randomizer.
    Norwich, CT

  7. Looks interesting! Jennifer Berube Arcata High School, Arcata, CA 95521

  8. Fingers crossed! This sounds like a terrific book.

    Norman Howard School
    Rochester, NY

  9. Ooh, I know so many kids who will love this book!

    Gregory Taylor
    Boise, Idaho